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CA Urges Court To Reject Petitions to Stay Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Saying he would defend the California Supreme Court's May 15 ruling, Attorney General Jerry Brown urged the court to reject petitions by anti-gay groups who seek to delay the ruling until after the November elections:

Brown"'This historic litigation is now concluded,' wrote Senior Assistant Atty. Gen. Christopher E. Krueger in a brief filed with the high court. 'It is time for these proceedings to end.' In the brief, Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown said he plans to enforce the court's May 15 ruling 'with no less vigor' than he previously sought to defend state laws that limited marriage to opposite-sex couples. California's change of heart came as 10 other states, including Florida and Utah, filed a brief in support of a request by gay marriage opponents to delay the effective date of the court ruling. The offices of attorneys general of Alaska, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Michigan, Nebraska, New Hampshire, South Carolina, South Dakota and Utah protested that their states, which restrict marriage to unions of a man and a woman, would be inundated by litigation seeking to have them recognize same-sex nuptials in California."

The L.A. Times notes that "the mere filing of the petition could delay same-sex marriages until mid-July, or, at the latest, mid-August, court officials said."

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Comments

  1. This is so interesting. Utah just had a poll that favored gay marriage. People are spending so much time freaked-out by this issue instead of taking the time to learn about it. Marriage is a basic civil right that should be attainable by all Americans if they choose. For those who are uncomfortable with gay marriage check out our short produced to educate & defuse the controversy. It has a way of opening closed minds & provides some sanity on the issue: www.OUTTAKEonline.com

    Posted by: Charlotte | May 30, 2008 9:02:09 AM


  2. This is so interesting. Utah just had a poll that favored gay marriage. People are spending so much time freaked-out by this issue instead of taking the time to learn about it. Marriage is a basic civil right that should be attainable by all Americans if they choose. For those who are uncomfortable with gay marriage check out our short produced to educate & defuse the controversy. It has a way of opening closed minds & provides some sanity on the issue: www.OUTTAKEonline.com

    Posted by: Charlotte | May 30, 2008 9:02:49 AM


  3. So let me get this straight. The courts say they can have gay marriage. People get married, and then when the constitutional amendment comes up for voting and gay marriage is banned these people aren't married anymore? To me, as a gay man, I wouldn't get married until after that vote. It just seems to me that getting married before that would just set me up for a lot of heart ache. I also think that maybe waiting to start the marriage until after that vote would save the tax payers a lot of money.

    Posted by: Matt | May 30, 2008 9:16:13 AM


  4. The dam is starting to burst. Love this historic time we're in! Come on - we need another country or state to legalize same-sex marriage to keep the momentum going....

    Posted by: jeff | May 30, 2008 9:32:23 AM


  5. Matt, you may be right in one sense, but the more same-sex couples who are married before the vote means the more straight people will have to deal with taking away the rights of their friends, neighbors and family members. It's a lot harder to take that away once it's present and visible -- the fear of the unknown goes away quickly. I know that helped in MA.

    Congratulations to everyone in CA planning their weddings!

    Posted by: DBS | May 30, 2008 9:45:33 AM


  6. It's been estimated right now that the Marriage Ban Amendment is going to cost the State approximately $30MM.

    I'm certain that even hundreds of thousands of gay and lesbian couples getting married wouldn't damage our economy to that extent - in fact, I'd be curious to see how gay and lesbian weddings this summer might actually help the economy that these faux conservatives clearly don't care about.

    Right now we're not planning on getting married this summer. I'm afraid I might (be more apt to) go off the deep end if this disgusting constitutional ban is enacted and our piece of paper is nullified.

    Posted by: Rey | May 30, 2008 10:13:11 AM


  7. MATT, I read a legal opinion yesterday that said this amendment would not be retroactive so anyone married prior to its unlikely passage would continue to be married. Secondly, as someone already mentioned, CA are far less likely to TAKE AWAY a right already being enjoyed than they are to block a right that no one has yet had the opportunity to avail themselves. Thirdly, gay people who are married would have much greater standing to challenge the amendment as being illegal to begin with since what the authors are doing, now that the CA Supreme Court has declared marriage equality a constitutional right, is REVISING not amending the Constitution.

    JEFF, yesterday Norway overwhelmingly passed the first reading of a bill that would legalize full marriage (including the right to marry in the state church), adoption and IVF treatment for gay and lesbian couples. It has to be voted on again next month when it is expected to sail through since ALL of the political parties in their parliament are now supporting the legislation.

    Sweden is in the process of doing the same (with the state church's blessing). They will have followed suit by the end of the summer.

    I have no doubt that these developements will push Denmark (the FIRST country in the world to legally recognize gay couples) to upgrade their civil unions to marriage.

    The momentum is DEFINITELY moving in the right direction and picking up speed.

    Posted by: Zeke | May 30, 2008 11:07:56 AM


  8. Former "Gov. Moonbeam" is twinkling again. I give him NO credit for this. No one was holding a gun to his head to spend tax dollars to legally fight AGAINST marriage equality in "defend[ing] state laws." As Attorney General, his opposition COULD have influenced the state supreme court the most.

    What is this—his "Adolf Eichmann Defense"—only following orders even as they change? TOTAL asshat who I hope never runs for elected office again.

    Posted by: Leland Frances | May 30, 2008 1:11:57 PM


  9. Matt (re: waiting to see if amendment fails before marrying)--

    You can't pass a law (or an amendment) that voids a legal contract. That's one of the reasons the anti-folks in Mass messed up and delayed themselves -- their first attempt would have had the effect of overturning existing marriages, so they had to try again with new wording (something like, "no new marriages after the date of this amendment's passage" -- but that's not the actual text).

    It gets trickier if you DO marry and the amendment bans avenues of divorce, but cross (or burn) that bridge when you come to it.

    This situation would create different classes of gays -- those who are married and those who cannot marry. Legal entities HATE that kind of mess.

    In addition, as others have written, it's MUCH harder for voters to rescind a right after it's been exercised that if it's all hypothetical and academic.

    So if the ruling is NOT stayed, it augurs well for the failure of the amendment. If it IS stayed, it could be a toss-up.

    Posted by: tjc | May 30, 2008 2:00:49 PM


  10. Jeff,

    That country you are looking for to be next in line is Norway. The votes are already lined up for next month. After Norway will most likely be Sweden or Brazil or Colombia. As you said, the dam has burst and the phobes have no way to get the water back.

    Leland,

    You misunderstand the job of the Attorney General. He doesn't get to decide which of the legislature's laws that he wishes to defend.

    The phobes were so worried that the AG would not put up a strong defense that they brought in their own attorneys... who probably hurt their case rather than help it. Judges aren't much swayed by the rantings of religious bigots.

    Posted by: Timothy | May 30, 2008 6:42:52 PM


  11. Sorry, Timothy, but you're confusing job description with behavioral reality.

    ANYone, whether elected official, cop, or toll taker ALWAYS has the choice to do NOTHING regardless of what others think [or their job description implies] they SHOULD do.

    Perfect example which has gone on ever since the American military first made it a policy during WWII that gays couldn't serve: some commanders enforced it without exception; others enforced it only on a case-by-case basis [if you were doing your job/they needed you/etc.]; and others ignored it entirely. It's statistically represented by the rise and fall of gay discharges depending on whether or not we're at war. Such fluctuations happened during our involvement in Vietnam and have happened since we invaded Iraq.

    Brown CHOSE to weigh in upon the marriage equality suit VERY forefully, predicting "unintended consequences" when we go against Society's wisdom—totally irrelevant constitutionally, of course. And, now, because the airhead probably STILL imagines he can be taken seriously as a Presidential candidate some day he's measured the way the political winds are blowing and is singing the opposite political tune. Fuck him and not in the good way.

    Posted by: Leland Frances | May 30, 2008 7:17:34 PM


  12. BLUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUE BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYYYOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

    Posted by: Linda Ronstadt | May 31, 2008 1:05:25 AM


  13. Marriage by itself is not a right for anyone in California or any other state. Rather, what the CSC affirmed was the right of gay people to equal protection under California law as str8 people, so the existing DP law was discriminatory. Were the DP law repealed, then gays would no longer be eligible to marry in CA. Technically, the CSC should have instructed the legislature to rewrite the DP law or throw it out as unconstitutional. However, that would have invalided gay marriage (throwing it out), so we are in a weird situation legally where the court essentially administratively re-interpreted the law. This is not often done (never with SCOTUS). By this means, I'm guessing that the Court will not stay it's own ruling, because as a matter of law, it's ruling is not being challenged. Had they demanded the law be rewritten or dropped, then a stay would have made more sense. This is a much more narrow ruling than the one from Mass or even NJ, because in those states the basic marriage statute was at issue, where here the DP law was at issue.

    So, the two problems with this ruling: very narrow grounds and it leaves on the books a DP law that has all the wrong language. The proposed amendment against gay marriage on the ballot will need to address this ruling by blocking the DP law along with providing a definition of marriage, or they will run afoul of this ruling (in theory, if not in practice). Californians support the DP law, so this will harden opposition to the amendment.

    Posted by: anon | May 31, 2008 2:49:13 AM


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